Published 18/12/2020

Published 18/12/2020

A look around the 2020 BMW X1 18i sDrive

We take a look at the latest BMW X1 specs, engines, design and technology to see how it stands up against it’s very strong competition from the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. 

We drove the 18i sDrive M Sport in Misano Blue Metallic. It had quite a few options, in particular, not one but two Tech Packs. On The Road prices for this particular car would be just shy of £38,000. Which, well… is not exactly cheap. 

However, with a Carparison lease we are able to offer affordable monthly rentals and agreements that work for you. Check out our current BMW X1 lease deals now. 

Let's take a look at what the BMW X1 has to offer... 




  • The sDrive18i is the entry level petrol option and gets a 1.5 litre engine with 140 horsepower and a 0-62 time of 9.7 seconds.


  • The sDrive20i has a 2 litre petrol engine which produces 192 horsepower and can achieve a 0-62 of 7.6 seconds.


  • The only petrol engine to feature the xDrive 4-wheel drive system; The xDrive20i has a 2 litre engine, 192 horsepower and a 0-62 time of 7.7 seconds.


  • As the entry-level diesel option, the sDrive18d has a 2 litre, 150 horsepower and a 0-62 time of 9.3 seconds.


  • The xDrive18d features the same engine and power as the sDrive variant, but with BMWs xDrive system.


  • This xDrive20d once again gets a 2 litre engine, however benefits from a much more impressive 190 and can deliver a 0-62 time of 7.8 seconds.


  • The 25e is a plug-in hybrid compact SUV that combines a 1.5 litre petrol engine with an electric motor which offers a combined performance of 220 horsepower. This is a great choice for those who want to make the most of the Benefit in Kind savings available to business lease drivers.
BMW X1 parked in woodland

Model Lines


  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Active Guard
    - Forward vehicle collision warning
    - City collision mitigation
    - Brake preconditioning
    - Speed limit information
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • BMW Navigation with 8.8" Central Display
  • Powered tailgate
  • LED headlights
  • LED tail lights
  • 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror
  • Front and rear park distance control
  • Cruise control with braking function

Sport (in addition/replacement to SE models)

  • 18” Sport alloy wheels
  • Black high-gloss Pearl Chrome
  • Cloth Nivala / Sensatec upholstery
  • Sport seats, front
  • Roof rails, Black high-gloss
  • Exterior trim, high-gloss Shadow line
  • Exclusive Sport front and rear bumpers with high-gloss black finish
  • Contrast stitching on instrument panel

xLine (in addition/replacement to SE models)

  • 18” xLine alloy wheels
  • Kidney grille, Satin Aluminium finish
  • Black high-gloss interior trim with accent
  • Dakota leather upholstery with perforations and contrast stitching
  • Exterior trim, Satin Aluminium
  • Roof Rails, Satin Aluminium
  • Seat Heating, front
  • xLine Exterior styling trim, Satin Aluminium
  • Electric folding exterior mirrors
  • Extended Lighting with logo projection

M Sport (in addition/replacement to SE models)

  • 18’’ M Sport light alloy wheels
  • Aluminium interior trim with Estoril Blue finisher
  • Headlining, Anthracite
  • Exterior trim high-gloss shadowline
  • M Aerodynamic Exterior Styling
  • M Sport suspension
  • Roof Rails, High-gloss shadowline
  • Seat Heating, front
  • M Sport leather steering wheel
BMW X1 Rear and Wheels


The 2020 BMW X1 is a compact SUV suited to those who love the smaller dimensions of a hatchback but with the increased practicality and higher riding position offered by an SUV. Size-wise, the X1 is the smallest SUV in the BMW lineup and this latest generation provides even more room in the cabin.

The X1 is attractive option for many drivers looking for a good-looking compact premium SUV. However, it’s got massively strong competition from the likes of the new Mercedes-Benz GLA,  Volvo XC40 and even the Volkswagen Tiguan.

BMW X1 Front Grille

Its got the notoriously controversial, large kidney grille and angular sweeping LED headlights – standard on SE models. From some angles its difficult to see what shape the X1 takes... front on, it’s a hatchback, side on it’s reminiscent of a 3 Series Touring but the rear provides that boxy SUV height that you’d expect.

This particular model was an M Sport, so we can’t ignore the increasingly aggressive styling, upgraded alloys, high gloss trim and sporty shadow line roof rails.

Outside, this particular X1 features Metallic Misano Blue Paint, which we felt tied in wonderfully with the blue brake calipers (part of the M Sport Plus Pack) and 19 inch bicolour alloys. 

BMW X1 Cabin


Inside the cabin feels reassuringly premium. It’s both comfortable and compact, with a mixture of soft-touch leather and aluminium/chrome finishes. This car also had anthracite headlining and black Dakota leather is highlighted by blue contrast stitching.

The seats are firm and the ride feels suitably sporty with the M Sport suspension. We also benefitted from heated front seats as well as M seatbelts and M Sport leather steering wheel. Which interior do you think looks better... the X1 or Audi Q3? 

BMW X1 Cabin view from rear seats


You really do get a lot of kit on this latest X1, with even entry-level SE models getting Forward vehicle collision warning, City collision mitigation, Brake preconditioning, Speed limit information, Dual-zone climate control, an 8.8" Central Display complete with BMW Navigation, an auto dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.

BMW X1 Technology

As we mentioned earlier, this car also featured two Tech Packs for advanced connectivity and mod cons. Tech Pack One gets you adaptive LED headlights, Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging – although it doesn’t fit some bigger phones – as well as a reversing assist camera. The second Tech Pack benefits the car with BMW Navigation Plus as well as the customizable and crystal clear colour head-up display.

Should you want to, you could also opt for a Comfort Pack which offers a heated steering wheel, comfort access and electric front seats with memory function.

BMW X1 Rear Seats

Practicality and Boot Space 

Boot space in the X1 is really, really good; and bigger than that in the Volvo XC40 and the Mercedes GLA. It’s got a wide opening with no load lip which makes the space infinitely useful and practical for loading suitcases or even for dogs jumping in and out. All models get a powered tailgate as well as storage under the boot floor. All in all its exactly what you’d want to a car of this size.

BMW X1 Boot Space

Room in the cabin is also really decent, with enough head and leg from for adults around 6ft to sit comfortably. The seats fold down in a 40:20:40 split, and also offer easy access isofic points in the rear. All models get a powered tailgate as well as storage under the boot floor.

BMW X1 parked

Final Verdict

During the drive I kept having to look down to use the centre console as its design tilts it down and away from the driver in a slightly unhelpful way. Unfortunately it meant that I kept accidentally switching off the traction control rather than going between driving modes as I was intending.

During our drive of the 18i sDrive we noted that whilst there wasn’t a huge amount of ‘oomph’ in Sport mode, the car still had plenty of get up and go. If this is the entry-level option, then the 20i or even the hybrid options are going to offer a lot more enjoyment.

As with most BMWs’, the X1 offers that perfect balance of heavy and agile steering that instills confidence that the car will be (and is) grippy on the road.

And whilst the X1 cabin isn’t quite up there with the technological advancement and overall ambience of say, the 3 Series… it’s still a pretty decent place to be. Very few complaints here!

Interested in a BMW X1 lease? Take a look at our best BMW  X1 lease deals.